Winter's last blast hits Ottawa before spring's arrival

Winter's last blast hits Ottawa before spring's arrival

Tuesday's storm is likely the last before spring officially arrives in Ottawa, and it's promising to pack one last wintry punch.

Up to 30 centimetres of snow is expected to fall on some parts of eastern Ontario, and forecasters are predicting up to 45 centimetres of snow forecasted for the New York City area.

There's a winter storm warning in effect for the Brockville, Cornwall and Kingston areas, and Environment Canada is warning of winds gusting up to 60 km/h.

Ottawa-Gatineau is getting off relatively lightly, with 10 to 20 centimetres in the forecast — still enough for a special weather statement from Environment Canada. Winds could gust up to 50 km/h in the capital before the storm ends Wednesday.

The maximum snowfall for the Pembroke and Pontiac areas is expected to be around 15 centimetres with slightly gentler winds, according to Environment Canada.

Flights grounded

The storm is already wreaking havoc with travel plans, with about 60 arrivals and departures showing as cancelled on the Ottawa International Airport's website as of 11:30 a.m.

Out on the roads, Ottawa police are reminding drivers to leave extra distance for safe stopping.

Snow budget stretched

The storm will further challenge the City of Ottawa's snow clearing fund, which was already on pace to go $10 million over budget in 2017.

Spring officially begins Monday, and the long-range forecast for the region is calling for a few more flurries between the end of this storm on Wednesday and the winter's official end.

Correction : An earlier version of this article said this winter had the third-highest snowfall in Ottawa's history. In fact, Environment Canada said it's the 18th snowiest winter in the city's history.(Mar 14, 2017 4:29 PM)